Lessons from the sea: Genome sequence of an algicidal marine bacterium Hahella chehuensis

Haeyoung Jeong, Sung Ho Yoon, Hong Kum Lee, Tae Kwang Oh, Jihyun F. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Harmful algal blooms (HABs or red tides), caused by uncontrolled proliferation of marine phytoplankton, impose a severe environmental problem and occasionally threaten even public health. We sequenced the genome of an EPS-producing marine bacterium Hahella chejuensis that produces a red pigment with the lytic activity against redtide dinoflagellates at parts per billion level. H. chejuensis is the first sequenced species among algicidal bacteria as well as in the order Oceanospirillales. Sequence analysis indicated a distant relationship to the Pseudomonas group. Its 7.2-megabase genome encodes basic metabolic functions and a large number of proteins involved in regulation or transport. One of the prominent features of the H. chejuensis genome is a multitude of genes of functional equivalence or of possible foreign origin. A significant proportion (-23%) of the genome appears to be of foreign origin, i.e. genomic islands, which encode genes for biosynthesis of exopolysaccharides, toxins, polyketides or non-ribosomal peptides, iron utilization, motility, type III protein secretion and pigment production. Molecular structure of the algicidal pigment was determined to be prodigiosin by LC-ESI-MS/MS and NMR analyses. The genomics-based research on H. chejuensis opens a new possibility for controlling algal blooms by exploiting biotic interactions in the natural environment and provides a model in marine bioprospecting through genome research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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